Praia dos Salgados is Albufeira’s westernmost beach. It’s located by a lagoon and a golf course, and is where many tourists stay, as it has a number of large hotels a short walk from the sand. Thankfully, development was limited, and it’s still a great place to enjoy nature.
When you arrive, you see part of the lagoon extending to the dunes. It’s home to around 200 different species of birds, including ducks and flamingos, plus some rare birds that are on the endangered list. You may observe them on a walk over the boardwalks. The lagoon is formed by the mouths of two small rivers, and covers about 50 hectares (125 acres). It’s one of the most important freshwater wetlands in southern Portugal, so for this reason, the beach is popular among ecotourists and birdwatchers. Early in the morning or just before sunset are the best times to visit, but note that it’s strictly forbidden to swim in the lagoon. If you’re in town in the winter, you have the opportunity to observe migratory birds.
Thanks to the hotels with family rooms and child-friendly facilities, this beach tends to attract families. While most of them are tourists, there are also families from the neighboring towns. The parking lot and boardwalk also make it accessible to the disabled. But there’s space for everyone, as it’s about 1.5km (close to 1 mile) long. And the soft golden sand stretches all the way to other beaches in the town of Armação de Pêra.
Part of it is taken over by thatched umbrellas and loungers for rent in the summer. In the bathing season there’s also lifeguard supervision and the water is usually calm and good enough for swimming. Although it isn’t particularly known for water sports, it’s good for stand-up paddle and bodyboarding. The golf course just behind the beach has 18 holes and is one of the best in the region.
There’s a restaurant on the beach, but you also have other places to eat and drink at the hotels nearby, even if you’re not staying at any of them. The restaurant at the beach is open throughout the day, for drinks or complete meals, largely focusing on fresh fish and seafood.
Beach for: Families, Ecotourists, Birdwatchers
Bar or Restaurant: Yes
How to Get to Praia dos Salgados
Bus 75 of the Vamus company goes from Albufeira’s bus station to this beach, but it’s so infrequent (about half a dozen departures per day), that it’s not really reliable. By car, from the center of Albufeira, head west on road M526 and follow the signs to the beach. From elsewhere in Algarve, take the A22 highway to exit 8 and continue to the M524 road in the direction of Pêra. Then take M526 and follow the signs. There’s plenty of parking by the lagoon, which is a short walk from the beach.
Beaches by Praia dos Salgados
Continue walking east (to the left when facing the sea) and you arrive at Praia da Galé. In the opposite direction is Praia Grande de Pêra, Praia de Armação de Pêra and Praia do Vale do Olival, which all share the same nearly-10km-long stretch of sand.
To locate these beaches, see the Albufeira beaches map.
Hotels by Praia dos Salgados
Salgados Dunas Suites
An exclusive boardwalk over the dunes takes you directly to the beach from this hotel. It has standard rooms and suites, most of them with sea views. There are as many as six outdoor swimming pools surrounded by palm trees. The restaurant serves Portuguese and international cuisine.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Salgados Dunas Suites
Featuring four outdoor swimming pools (three for adults and one for children), a spa, and restaurants with panoramic views, this is a luxurious 5-star hotel. The golf course next door makes it the best choice for golfers, and while there are other hotels closer to the beach, it’s just a 5-minute drive away. The rooms are spacious, and most have balconies with views over the ocean and the golf course.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Salgados Palace
This resort has a total of 250 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows opening to views of exotic gardens and Salgados Beach in the distance (it’s a 3-minute walk away). Outside are four swimming pools, while inside are two other pools, a spa, a fitness center and four restaurants serving different world cuisines.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: VidaMar Resort
NAU Salgados Vila das Lagoas
The buildings that make up this all-apartments property face the beach, which is about an 8-minute walk away. They’re surrounded by a garden of olive and palm trees, and seven swimming pools. All apartments have two bathrooms and a balcony, and can accommodate between 2 and 6 people. Although guests may prepare meals in the kitchen, there’s a restaurant to try the local seafood specialties.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: NAU Salgados Vila das Lagoas
Apartments Herdade dos Salgados
Here you have the choice of 1- or 2-bedroom apartments, and may walk to the beaches of Salgados or Galé. All units have a terrace and all guests have access to an outdoor swimming pool.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Apartments Herdade dos Salgados